And now from something completely complete--and different...
Here's 11 CDs' worth of highly influential jazz from 1932-1940. It's ripped in FLAC, so the downloads are gonna take awhile, but the music is most certainly worth the effort.
It's not all masterpiece material. There are several trivial pop vocals, taken from novelty sludge of the day, and they have not aged well, despite little snatches of jazz soloing therein. The balance of the set is Ellington and company playing jazz instrumentals.
Some of Ellington's greatest songs--both acknowledged classics and obscure goodies--abound here.
This set is long out of print, and thus spendy. The music herein has been somewhat well served on CD reissues, but it's never been in one place.
These are master takes--and a plethora of alternates--of everything the Ellington big band waxed for these three record labels. We follow Ellington's maturation as a composer, hear the first arrangements by his gifted protege Billy Strayhorn, and experience performances by the finest musicians who passed through his half-decade-long organization.
Some of the song titles are garbled, and I'm sorry I couldn't reproduce the trainspotting gem of a booklet that comes with these discs. Thanks to my great local public library, I make this significant share with you.
I'm an author, artist, and musician. My first article was published in 1980. Thousands of articles, essays and odd jobs later, I am the author of two graphic novels--THE OREGON TRAIL: ROAD TO DESTINY (Sasquatch Books) and the Eisner Award-winning THE CARTER FAMILY: DON'T FORGET THIS SONG (Abrams ComicArts; both with David Lasky).